Principal Newsletter Archives

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Principal’s Newsletter 9/24/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

We had another fantastic week at St. Francis! Our Troubies have been actively involved in their Homecoming builds, while trying to stay engaged in their studies. Traditionally, Homecoming Week is high energy, with weeklong events culminating in a grandiose Homecoming Rally.  Given the current COVID restrictions, we’ve made some adjustments and moved most of the indoor events outdoors, and are planning for a safe, masked indoor rally on Friday, October 1st. Unfortunately, due to health and safety concerns, only students, faculty, and staff will be able to attend the event.

Also, it is my pleasure to introduce a new member of the St. Francis staff that you will be seeing around campus. Valerie Ramos, is our new Diversity Coordinator, who will be working with administrators, faculty, and staff, to promote honest discussion of racial diversity issues and initiating steps needed to sustain an inclusive, welcoming community, consistent with the mission of the school.  Mrs. Ramos will continue to spearhead the implementation of our Racial Reconciliation Plan (RRP), which champions the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive community. In her role, Mrs. Ramos will engage with administration, faculty, staff, and students to build a welcoming and inclusive culture at St. Francis, and serve as an advisor and resource for administration, faculty, staff, and students in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. If you’d like to reach out to Mrs. Ramos, you can email her at vramos@stfrancishs.org.  We are excited to welcome Mrs. Ramos to our team and look forward to working with her in the years ahead. 

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

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Principal’s Newsletter 9/17/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

As we finish the sixth week of instruction, I want to recognize the fantastic work our Troubies are doing in and outside of the classroom. The first month of school has flown by and our Troubies are settling into a “normal” routine. 

At this point of the year, I like to remind parents to discuss with their daughters the importance of finding balance in their busy schedules. Our Troubies challenge themselves with rigorous academic coursework, athletics, student clubs, and a host of other co-curricular activities. Please encourage your daughter/s to find time to breathe and decompress, as it will provide them with the coping skills necessary to be successful throughout the year.  As we get closer to the end of the 1st quarter, an important skill for any student to learn is to ask for assistance early, so she can feel confident in her academics and activities. We want to ensure our Troubies utilize our various support systems, such as asking teachers for assistance, tutoring, and working with their Guidance and/or our Wellness counselors.

Thank you for being proactive and helping us develop strong, confident, and resilient young women.

Also, as a reminder, COVID screening will be taking place for all unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff this Sunday, September 17th from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Armory parking lot. The screening time frame has been adjusted by our medical providers due to the smaller number of students, faculty, and staff needing to be screened. 

If a student who is unvaccinated is unable to get tested on a scheduled weekend, they will not be allowed on campus. Please reach out to Dean Cost or myself if you have any questions about testing options if you’re unable to attend a weekend clinic. 

I appreciate your flexibility and understanding, as we continue to do everything in our power to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and present on campus.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

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Principal’s Newsletter 9/10/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

I can’t believe we have completed the fourth full week of instruction!  While we are still acclimating to being back to in-person instruction, it’s important to remind your daughter/s to find some balance. Now more than ever, it’s necessary that they find time to breathe and decompress, as it will provide them with some coping skills necessary for resilience and success. As we continue to navigate this school year, an important skill for all students is to learn to ask for assistance early so they can feel confident in their academics and self-advocacy skills. We want to ensure our Troubies utilize the various support systems in place at St. Francis, such as asking teachers for assistance, tutoring, and working with their Guidance and/or Wellness counselors.

Also, as a reminder, COVID screening will resume for all unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff this Sunday, September 12th from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Armory parking lot. 

In an effort to minimize traffic congestion during COVID screening, we ask that students with last names (A-L) arrive between 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. and students with last names (M-Z) arrive between 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. The last 30-minutes will be for any student, faculty, and staff member that may not be able to make it during the designated times. 

If a student who is unvaccinated is unable to get tested on a scheduled weekend, they will not be allowed on campus. Please reach out to Dean Cost or myself if you have any questions about testing options if you’re unable to attend a weekend clinic. 

Additionally, our Urgent Care Now medical providers will be on-site this Sunday, September 12th, to provide a vaccination clinic for any parent or student interested in getting the first or second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. They will also have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available for anyone interested in receiving that particular vaccine. The vaccination clinic will be taking place inside the Armory, so you will have to park in designated stalls to minimize congestion and delays in the drive-thru COVID screening lanes.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding, as we continue to do everything in our power to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and present on campus.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 9/03/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

I can’t believe we’ve completed the fourth week of the school year! As we prepare for Labor Day weekend, a holiday that marks the “unofficial end of summer,” I hope you find some time to unwind and relax. Given everything that’s transpired over the past few months, please enjoy the upcoming weekend with your families, and cherish the quality time you spend together. If you’re traveling this weekend, be safe, wear a face covering, and physically distance, so we can beat this pandemic and continue to keep our students safe and in school. 

IMPORTANT COVID UPDATES

Based on recent CDPH updates for K-12 schools, the following requirements are being implemented for all extra-curricular activities:

  • All students and adults involved in extracurricular activities including but not limited to sports, band, chorus and clubs, must do the following:
    • Perform at least weekly screening testing with either PCR testing or antigen testing of all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Wear masks. This includes while playing all indoor sports, unless wearing a mask during play has been determined to pose a choking hazard by a well-recognized health authority, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
    • For the playing of musical instruments that cannot be done with a face covering (e.g., wind instruments), these activities will be moved outdoors or the use of modified face and/or bell coverings will be used and maintaining a six foot physical distance. 

As a reminder, there is no COVID screening this Sunday due to the holiday weekend, but it will resume on Sunday, September 12th for all unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff, and vaccinated students and adults who participate in extracurricular activities. The screening time will remain the same, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m., out in the Armory parking lot. If a student who is unvaccinated or vaccinated (but involved in extracurricular activities), and is unable to get tested on a scheduled weekend, they will not be allowed on campus. Please reach out to Dean Cost or myself if you have any questions about testing options if you’re unable to attend a weekend clinic. 

Additionally, I am also working with our medical providers to schedule a vaccination clinic for eligible students (16 years and older), faculty, and staff on Sunday, September 12th. As we finalize these plans, I will share that information with our school community next week.

Lastly, for those of us that get to rest from our usual labors this weekend, I ask that we pray for those that will continue to shoulder the burden of human labor.  

Lord, on this Labor Day,

We thank You for the blessing of work.
We ask for strength to complete each day.
We ask for rest when we are weary.
We ask Your guidance for everyone seeking employment, and we ask that You be with those whose faces we might never see but who work tirelessly each day for the good of us all.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 8/27/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

I can’t believe we’ve completed the first three weeks of the school year!  It was great seeing our parents on campus yesterday for Back to School Night. 

It’s been exhilarating seeing all of our Troubies back on campus and participating in extracurricular activities, Club Rush, and retreats, while starting to make personal connections with new friends. We look forward to continuing to build community on campus throughout the year and ask for your continued support and patience, as we continue to deal with the uncertainty of COVID and multiple fires in the surrounding area that may impact any of our planned events. 

Part of our COVID precautionary measures continues to be universal masking for all students, faculty, and staff, while in any indoor area/s. If you would prefer that your student wear their mask outdoors as well, that is something we will support. 

Starting this weekend, we’ll be conducting a universal baseline COVID screening for ALL students, faculty, and staff, regardless of vaccination status. By doing so, we are being proactive and identifying any asymptomatic cases before they are introduced into our school community, potentially impacting student attendance, co-curricular activities, and other planned events.  The following schedule has been developed to maximize COVID screenings and prevent delays. Please follow this schedule:

  • Saturday, August 28th: 9th & 10th Grade Students – drive through from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 29th: 11th & 12th Grade Students – drive through from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

CLICK LINK BELOW for the COVID Waiver and Consent form. If your daughter is under 18, please print, sign, and date the COVID Waiver and Consent form, and have your daughter bring it with her for COVID testing.

SFHS Student COVID Waiver & Consent Form

If you are not able to be screened on either day, you will have to provide Dean Cost or Mr. Mendoza with a negative COVID test 48-hours before your daughter returns to school on Monday, August 30th. Please send a copy of the test results to CCost@stfrancishs.org. If there is a positive COVID result, you will receive notification from Dean Cost.

I know this is not how we envisioned the start of this school year, but we will continue to pivot and make adjustments to our plans, so we can continue to hold as many in-person events as possible. I appreciate your flexibility and understanding.

Lastly, I want to thank you for following our drop-off and pick-up procedures in order to mitigate long queues in the morning and afternoon. Please remind your daughters to have all of their belongings ready to go as they exit/enter your vehicle. By decreasing delays in the car line, it will significantly reduce the wait time for everyone. Also, if you have a novice driver, don’t make the exchange in the car line, it causes additional delays. If you are not aware of our drop-off pick-up procedures, please familiarize yourself with our Drop-off/Pick-up procedures below. 

May God continue to guard and preserve our school community. 

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal

Email blast

Principal’s Newsletter 8/20/21

Dear St. Francis Families,

Well, the first full week of the 2021-2022 school year is in the books! We are so excited and thankful to have all of our teachers and students on campus this week. 

Given the ongoing COVID challenges and restrictions we’ve faced, as well as the uncontrolled wildfires in neighboring counties, we remain committed to providing a world class education to our students. Our faculty has spent countless hours preparing for this school year, and the anticipation of being back in-person, and I’d like to thank them for their efforts. 

I want to share with you some upcoming changes in our COVID safety measures. Given the recent spike in our region caused by the COVID-19 delta variant, we are seeing an increase in positive COVID cases being reported by parents.

In order to mitigate this potential exposure and scrutiny by the Sacramento County Public Health Department, we will be resuming weekly COVID screening. 

I know this may be perceived as an inconvenience, but it is the safest way to prevent COVID transmission on campus, as well as to ensure our school remains open during this COVID peak.

The first COVID screening will take place next weekend, and it will be a baseline collection for all vaccinated and unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff. The screening process will be exactly as it was last year, you will be able to drive through the Armory cell phone lot, and our medical providers will be able to do a nasopharyngeal swab without your daughter getting out of the car. 

We know that processing 1,000+ students, faculty, and staff will be a logistical challenge, but our medical providers are ready and prepared to meet the challenge. The following schedule has been developed to maximize COVID screenings and prevent delays. Please follow this schedule:

Saturday, August 28th: 9th & 10th Grade Students – drive through from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 29th: 11th & 12th Grade Students – drive through from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

If you are not able to be screened on either day, you will have to provide Dean Cost or Mr. Mendoza with a negative COVID test 48-hours before your daughter returns to school on Monday, August 30th. Please send a copy of the test to CCost@stfrancishs.org.

On Sunday, September 12th, we will have another COVID screening for students, faculty, and staff that are not vaccinated, and this will continue to occur on a weekly basis for the unvaccinated.

If you have any questions about the COVID screening process, please contact me directly. 

May God continue to shine his grace upon the St. Francis community, as we continue to pivot to make this in-person school year possible.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us!
St. Clare of Assisi, pray for us!

In the spirit of Pax et Bonum (peace and goodness),

Elias Mendoza
Principal